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We Gather Together to Hear Cheesy Music
December 2, 2013 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Long before she started Regretsy, April Winchell was seriously curating the Best of the Worst: with her background in radio, that usually meant bad music (previously, with deadlink). So, of course, she has a fine collection of Bad Holiday Music (Christmas and Hanukkah) available for streaming or download in mp3 format.

Highlights (InMyNotHumbleOpinion):
Bethlehem Rap
Rocking Disco Santa
Let It Snow 8-Bit
Here Comes Santa Claus in Black
Tastee Christmas
C3PO Christmas from the Star Wars Holiday Special (the gold standard for holiday badness)
I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas by Yogi Yorgesson, a Dr. Demento staple
What’s It To Ya Chorus by serial music vandal Bob Rivers
Santa Face is Bringing Me a Budgie by Fffffreddy Davitthhh
Jingle Chicken
Chicken Dreidel Song
Klezmer Nutcracker
A Reminder from the Post Office (and Jack Webb)

Lowlights: All the Celebrity Covers of traditional Christmas songs, except maybe Jingle Bell Hustle by Wayne Freaking Newton

Bonus Non-Holiday (I Think) Content: What is Love? by Anthony Quinn (previously from deadlink post)
posted by oneswellfoop (50 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
If there are any polka fans in your life (or polka haters you'd like to torment), I highly recommend the album It's Christmas, Man! by Brave Combo. I truly cannot decide if I love it or hate it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:16 AM on December 2, 2013


What about the dogs barking "Jingle Bells?" Grandma got run over by a Reindeer?

i.e The Classics?
posted by Repack Rider at 11:17 AM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


honestly, I don't need to go looking for bad Christmas music.
posted by philip-random at 11:23 AM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


1 - Yay Winch!
2 - Ich so liebe die auf Deutsch Cover von "Downtown". ... So viele lichter ho! ...
3 - Listen to the Quincy theme song with lyrics. Seriously. Honestly. For the sake of your eternal soul, listen to these 65 seconds.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:23 AM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't wait to get home and listen to this.
posted by Jahaza at 11:27 AM on December 2, 2013


oh my god porky pig
posted by gnuhavenpier at 11:28 AM on December 2, 2013


These are far too exotic. "Jingle Bell Rock" and that similar song that was done by a woman are infuriating to the point that they should be banned in the interest of public safety. If one of those was playing in a public space, and I was jostled or slightly mistreated by another person, I could see myself getting infected by the Rage virus.

I have a theory that someone got an 8-track of "Jingle Bell Rock" stuck in the PA system of Khmer Rouge HQ in the late 60's.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:36 AM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


No musical yuletide hell is complete without The Christmas Shoes. There is no greater argument in favor of total hardline secularism around winter solstice time than when the children's chorus kicks in on that song.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:38 AM on December 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


Man I want to try just going around and pulling that excuse on every store I walk into. Excuse me sir, my mother's quite ill, and her one, simple wish is to have the new iPhone in her pocket when she meets Jesus tonight.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:39 AM on December 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, Wham's "Last Christmas" is another terrible atrocity, and even Andrew Ridgeley probably screams "what the FUCK!" and flails at his car stereo presets when he hears it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:40 AM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I feel like PinkStainlessTail's classic Jingle Bell Rock deserves a place on this list

even though it's my favorite christmas song
posted by troika at 11:42 AM on December 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Required reading: Tris McCall
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:43 AM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, memories of crazy music. The original site is where I found half the mp3s on my iPod. The Hindi Abba covers are still some of my favourites.
posted by jb at 11:48 AM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: banned in the interest of public safety
posted by tommasz at 11:57 AM on December 2, 2013


"The Most Unwanted Song" has a little bit of Christmas cheer in it, among a zillion other things. The Christmassy part begins at 4:07.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:58 AM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, my kingdom for an alternate version of Baby It's Cold Outside where the song comes to a grinding halt and police are called after the "hey, what's in this drink?" line.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:59 AM on December 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


Here is the opposite, the only Christmas song allowed in my familial home, and indeed the only non-choral Christmas song I have ever heard that didn't make me want to punch a wall: Merry Christmas from the Family
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:05 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: I can part my hair with my tongue!
posted by not_on_display at 12:14 PM on December 2, 2013


"Jingle Bell Rock" and that similar song that was done by a woman are infuriating to the point that they should be banned in the interest of public safety.

This version is delightful.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:32 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is no greater argument in favor of total hardline secularism around winter solstice time than when the children's chorus kicks in on that song.

The shrill piercing discordant voices of children singing repetitive songs is a monstrous torture that even the most hardened war criminal could not have thought up. The fact that we are supposed to find it somehow enjoyable due to seasonal festivities is an even greater crime against humanity.
posted by elizardbits at 12:44 PM on December 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Davy Jones' version of Mele Kalikimaka is legitimately awesome.


Also, I was surprised to learn that there is more than one surf version of Little Drummer Boy.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:45 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


showbiz_liz that is indeed the most perfect Christmas song.

I hum "I can't remember how I'm kin to them..." every time I go to a family event.
posted by emjaybee at 12:49 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Jingle Bell Rock" and that similar song that was done by a woman are infuriating to the point that they should be banned in the interest of public safety.

This version is delightful.



That reminds me of the Barenaked Ladies' Deck the Stills.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:50 PM on December 2, 2013


Looking for bad Christmas music is like looking for asshole politicians - it's just too easy and leaves you unsatisfied in the end. Consider. Observe. Shrug.
posted by item at 12:50 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


For the sake of your eternal soul, listen to these 65 seconds.

I just can't thank you (enough) for that, Benito Strauss. Awful and wonderful.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:52 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


'shrug' link in my last comment is very NSFW and will probably offend a bunch of you.
posted by item at 12:52 PM on December 2, 2013


Don't worry, item. We're adults here and can handle a little Demi Lovato from time to time.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:55 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, my kingdom for an alternate version of Baby It's Cold Outside where the song comes to a grinding halt and police are called after the "hey, what's in this drink?" line.


A lot of Christmas music is deeply problematic:


I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus- The conventional reading suggests that the child's father is the one dressed as Santa- but then why would he be doing this while the child is supposedly upstairs sleeping? For whose benefit is he disguised? A charitable explanation might be that Mommy and Daddy have some pretty specific kinks (in which case, kid, get the hell back upstairs, because things are about to get weird).

However, an alternative interpretation could be that Mommy is kissing the actual Santa Claus. In this case, the possibility of a liaison between the mother and Jolly Old St. Nick, not to mention the suggestion that the child might actually be Santa's bastard, lends a darkly ironic note to the lines, "What a laugh it would have been/ If Daddy had only seen/ Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night."


Little Drummer Boy- On what planet is an extended drum solo an appropriate gift for a newborn, let alone the son of God?


The Huron Carol- Thanks for the smallpox, Jesus!


Carol of the Bells- Sounds like a manic episode.


Walking in a Winter Wonderland- Not even about Christmas. Rather, it is the pitiful attempt to deny the killing power of winter through inanities, pointless merriment, and exhortations of heteronormativity- as if these things could somehow appease the inevitability that trapped the Donner party and turned Napoleon back from Moscow.


Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time- Not only the worst Christmas song, but quite possibly a contender for worst song ever.


Santa Claus is Coming to Town- The Panopticon.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:14 PM on December 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


So some years ago, I was doing some backend web programming scutwork to make ends meet for an advertising company doing a campaign for some Palm phone featuring a "young" Santa Claus, monickered as just plain "Claus" with the German pronunciation, that creeped me right out. This Santa Claus was all "hip" and "cool", with his fritzy white hair halo combined with a wrinkle-less face, and picked up ladies on golf courses and DJed in his pajamas and hung around the pool in his boxers. (The scutwork involved keeping track of all the submitted wishes for the ad campaign contest, limit $15k in value, in a database. The recession was starting to really gather steam at this point, so it was HORRIBLY DEPRESSING to read through all these wishes of people not wanting to lose their home. Or that their mother be saved from cancer.)

Anyway, part of this dude's schtick was remixing old Christmas songs, and the advertising company actually produced this album. And in this album is a gem of awfulness I describe as the Rasta Halloween version of Winter Wonderland. I still have this song on my hard drive, just to show it to people and watch their faces: "Johnny Mercer -- Winter Wonderland (James Hardaway Remix)", if you want to try finding it. (Or I suppose you could just ask me for this gem, if this is the kind of thing that tickles your fancy.)
posted by foxfirefey at 1:16 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good lord... "as you can appreciate from the images here the campaign is modern, fun, edgy and ultra cool."
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:31 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


TheWhiteSkull : A lot of Christmas music is deeply problematic

I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek - Daleks.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:32 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


On what planet is an extended drum solo an appropriate gift for a newborn, let alone the son of God?

Ah, but you see, that little drummer boy was Neil Peart.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:40 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


No awful Christmas album is complete without Louis Armstrong's - Zat You, Santa Claus?
posted by thebuddhaofdoubt at 1:56 PM on December 2, 2013


I'm so glad those room-clearing band nerds Tastee Bros are here!
posted by sourwookie at 2:26 PM on December 2, 2013


Ah yes; mocking, sneering, ridicule and judgmental attitudes: Winchell, Metafilter and the holidays at their very best.
posted by ambient2 at 2:58 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ugh, there's just something about April Winchell that doesn't sit right with me. I loved the idea of Regretsy, but eventually had to stop reading it because it was more mean-spirited than funny.
posted by mochapickle at 3:04 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like, viciously mean.
posted by mochapickle at 3:08 PM on December 2, 2013


> a gem of awfulness I describe as the Rasta Halloween version of Winter Wonderland. I still have this song on my hard drive, just to show it to people and watch their faces: "Johnny Mercer -- Winter Wonderland (James Hardaway Remix)"

See if SomaFM can use it.
posted by ardgedee at 3:20 PM on December 2, 2013


Santa Baby is still the worst. I don't even have to look at any special list to find it, for in the next month I will surely be subjected to it's creepy grossness dozens of times.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:55 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


You guys like this stuff? Then you all will want to go and see Jingle Bell Rocks, the documentary, which just premiered at IDFA in Amsterdam. Here's the trailer! It's full of crazy Christmas goodness!

(Disclosure: filmmaker is both a friend and partner of close friend)
posted by jokeefe at 4:15 PM on December 2, 2013


I don't think any bad Christmas songs discussion is complete without mention of Jon Denver's Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas).
posted by jferg at 5:31 PM on December 2, 2013


I'm with mochapickle. April Winchell is a jerk, above and beyond the call of duty. She was so cruel about the bodies of Etsy shop owners, that I had to quit reading Regretsy. I couldn't be okay enough with her as a person, to find her funny. Which is too bad, because she is funny.

In related news, pullayup is still right.
posted by Coatlicue at 5:35 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Jingle Bell Rock" you say? Billy Idol or GTFO.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:59 PM on December 2, 2013


I'm so glad April Winchell keeps posting these every year--her collection was the start of my horrible holiday music collection, which is now freaking huge.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:30 PM on December 2, 2013


I miss her old blog.
posted by stormpooper at 7:03 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Billy's Christmas Wish (Red Sovine).

You're welcome.
posted by mazola at 8:28 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


12 Days of Sochi
posted by troika at 10:38 AM on December 6, 2013


Santa Baby is still the worst. I don't even have to look at any special list to find it, for in the next month I will surely be subjected to it's creepy grossness dozens of times.

Some guy singer (Michael Bublee, whatever his name is, maybe?) did a version called Santa Buddy, because nothing says holiday cheer like a super paranoid bellow of NO HOMO.
posted by elizardbits at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh no I just realized that I posted 12 Days of Sochi in the wrong thread, I meant to put it in the hockey-players-singing one. But...it kind of works here. I mean, it's terrible.
posted by troika at 11:44 AM on December 6, 2013


Blue Christmas by Miles Davis with vocal by Bob Dourough, later to write many Schoolhouse Rock songs, and sax by Wayne Shorter.
posted by larrybob at 1:35 PM on December 9, 2013


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